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PROPFIND request failed, SSL & Firewalls

From: Keith Nelson <knelson_at_safearth.com>
Date: 2004-05-16 16:25:53 CEST

         I have a group of people who get the following error when
accessing my subversion repository:

PROPFIND request failed on /svn/myrepo/trunk
PROPFIND of '/svn/myrepo/trunk':could not connect to server (https://W.X.Y.Z)

They are behind a firewall/proxy in a large company, have setup their proxy
parameters correctly, and have attempted to access the repository over
https trying both the ip address and hostname to rule out DNS problems.
Their firewall does give them http/https access to the internet via a proxy.

         My subversion repository 1.0.1-1 and apache 2.0.49-2 appear to be
setup and configured correctly, and have been utilised regularly and
without problems from many different networks and subversion clients for
quite some time.

I have read all the comments on the various lists/websites about PROPFIND
errors, and tested the possibility that is might be caused by apache
misconfiguration or bad setup, but this does not appear to be the cause.

The most likely answer appears to be a strange firewall related problem
with subversion, specifically for firewalls configured to filter known worm
traffic, such as Nimda malicious GET requests. My problem is well described
with some Ethereal protocol analysis here:
and partly hinted at here:

Its strange because the traffic is over SSL, which should not give
firewalls a chance to block the subversion PROPFIND request as it appears
to do.

Unfortunately we have no access or influence over the firewall or how it is

Any suggestions on overcoming this problem very welcome.


Keith Nelson.

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Received on Sun May 16 16:27:32 2004

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